Gay definitions

Showing or characterized by cheerfulness and lighthearted excitement; merry.
adjective
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The definition of gay is someone or something bright or happy.

An example of gay is a bouquet of flowers with many brilliant colors.

adjective
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Of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.
adjective
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Socially inappropriate or foolish.
adjective
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Joyous and lively; merry; happy; lighthearted.
adjective
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A person whose sexual orientation is to persons of the same sex.
noun
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Given to social pleasures, especially at the expense of serious pursuits.
adjective
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Wanton; licentious.
adjective
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A man whose sexual orientation is to men.

An alliance of gays and lesbians.

noun
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Bright; brilliant.

Gay colors.

adjective
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Of, for, or relating to homosexuals, often, specif., male homosexuals.

Gay liberation.

adjective
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A homosexual; esp., a homosexual man.
noun
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Bright or lively, especially in color.

A gay, sunny room.

adjective
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Dissolute or licentious.
adjective
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Given to social life and pleasures.

A gay life.

adjective
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Odd, inept, pathetic, etc.
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1685-1732; Eng. poet & playwright.
proper name
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(dated)
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1879, House of Commons, Great Britain, Reports from committees, p. 61

...it is possible for people to be diseased without being prostitutes or gay women; it is possible for people years ago to have spent a gay life and to have not got rid of their disease, or they may have become diseased by their husbands or lovers.

adjective
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1889, Albert Barrère, Charles Godfrey Leland, A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant: Embracing English, American, and Anglo-Indian Slang, Pidgin English, Tinker's Jargon and Other Irregular Phraseology, Volume 1, p. 399

Gay (common, loose, dissipated; a "gay woman" or "gay girl," a prostitute. "All gay," vide All gay.

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1898, John Mackinnon Robertson, G. Aston Singer, "The Social Evil Problem" in The University magazine and free review: a monthly magazine, Volume 9, p. 308

She imprudently forms the acquaintance of a "gay girl" living in the same street.

adjective
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1899, Henry Fielding, Edmund Gosse, The works of Henry Fielding with an introduction, Volume 11, p. 290

"As nothing could be more gay, i.e., debauched, than Zeno's court, so the ladies of gay disposition had great sway in it; particularly one, whose name was Fausta, who, though not extremely handsome, was by her wit and sprightliness very agreeable to the emperor.

adjective
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Homosexual:
  • (of a person or animal, especially a male person) Possessing sexual and emotional attraction towards members of the same gender or sex.
  • (of a romantic or sexual act or relationship) Being between two people of the same gender or the same sex; especially, being between two men.
    Gay marriage, though legal here, is still very controversial.
    Although the number of gay weddings has increased significantly, many gay and lesbian couples — like many straight couples — are not interested in getting married.
    Gay sex, gay acts.
  • (of an institution or group) Intended for gay people, especially gay men.
    She professes an undying love for gay bars and gay movies, and even admits to having watched gay porn.
  • In accordance with stereotypes of homosexual people.
adjective
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A pejorative:
  • (slang, pejorative, dated) Effeminate or flamboyant in behavior.
  • (slang, pejorative) Used to express dislike: lame, uncool, stupid.
    This game is gay; let’s play a different one. = I dislike this game; let’s play a different one.
adjective
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(of a dog's tail) Upright or curved over the back.
adjective
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(colloquial) Fun, fabulous, tasteful; fashionable. [from 21th c.]

Her decor is quite gay just in time for the new season. = Her house is decorated fabulously and tastefully.

adjective
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(chiefly in plural or attributive) A homosexual, especially a male homosexual; see also lesbian.
noun
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The name of the letter ⟨—⟩, which stands for the sound IPA: /ɡ/, in Pitman shorthand.
noun
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anagrams
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An English surname​, originally a nickname for a cheerful or lively person.
pronoun
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A female given name from the word gay, "joyful"; rare today.
pronoun
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A male given name. Also a shortened form of Gabriel, Gaylord and similar names, or transferred from the surname.
pronoun
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Gay means a homosexual person.

An example of gay is a man who is only attracted to other men.

adjective
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Homosexual.
adjective
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Gay is defined as a homosexual person.

An example of gay is Elton John.

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Origin of gay

From Middle English gay, from Old French gai (“joyful, laughing, merry”), probably a borrowing of Old Provençal gai (“impetuous, lively”), from Gothic (gaheis, “impetuous”), merging with earlier Old French jai ("merry"; see jay), from Frankish *gāhi; both from Proto-Germanic *ganhuz, *ganhwaz (“sudden”), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰengʰ- (“to stride, step”), from *ǵʰēy- (“to go”). Cognate with Dutch gauw (“fast, quickly”), Westphalian Low German gau, gai (“fast, quick”), German jäh (“abrupt, sudden”). For more information, see the entries gang and go.